Are Developer Productivity and Developer Joy opposites?

A few glasses of fizzy were consumed during the JetBrains party at Devoxx Belgium last year:

Holly: You do presentations about productivity, and about developer happiness, and I do presentations about developer joy. We should do a presentation together!

Me: Yes! What a fantastic idea! Two titans of the London Java Community co-presenting on a topic that excites us both!

This is the story of how that went

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Flaky tests are poisoning your productivity

Picture of Trisha's face frowning and the title "Flaky Tests"

I freaking HATE flaky tests.

The first time I worked in an environment that had real Continuous Integration with Actual Automated Tests that Actually Ran, it was like... freedom. We literally got the green light that our new code was working as expected, and that any changes we made hadn't broken anything. And refactoring... before then, I don't think I had ever really refactored anything. Even a simple rename was fraught with danger, you never knew if reflection or some sort of odd log-file parsing was dependent upon specific class or method names. With a comprehensive suite of unit, acceptance and performance tests, we had this blissful safety net that would tell us "Everything Is OK" after we'd done simple or extensive refactoring.


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